Growth Over Recovery, or Why Words Matter

Words have meaning and weight

Craig McWha
4 min readApr 14, 2022


Photo by Jodie Cook on Unsplash

I recently finished a contract role, and therefore I was in the market for a new job. As much as I love writing on Medium, it doesn’t pay my bills. However, I am fortunate in that I don’t need to take any old role. I can afford to be a bit choosy. Yesterday I interviewed for a role I really wanted, and I was amazed when the panel gave me some fantastic feedback and even offered me the job on the spot. This company portrays all the values I seek when looking to join an organisation. The interview itself was a tremendous experience, and I felt comfortable enough with the interview panel to be able to divulge more about myself than perhaps I normally would.

Being successful in applying for this incredible role has given me pause for thought and time for some reflection on my journey. Here’s what I have learned.

Recovery is a bullshit word

Before I go any further, allow me to give you a brief synopsis of my story.

In 2013, I became street homeless. The year before that, I was sectioned under the mental health act. After being picked up by a military veterans’ charity, I received support for my mental health and was diagnosed with Adult ADHD and bipolar disorder. Which explained a lot about my life! I then went to university at the grand old age of 45 and graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree.

The word recovery is often bandied about when the wheels have fallen off a person’s wagon, and they are going through a process of rebuilding their life. And in some circumstances, it may be an appropriate word. For many, it won’t be. Why? Recovery carries certain connotations with it. It implies that there is a point in time that you must revisit to succeed in overcoming whatever obstacles have been in your way. Recovery is getting back to where you were before. But, what if it is where you were before that led you down the path to where you are now?


Growth has no such negative connotations associated with it. Growth allows you to move at your pace, without placing unnecessary pressures on you. Every positive action you take allows you to grow. There are no setbacks with growth, only positive steps forward…



Craig McWha

Former rough sleeper, UK RAF veteran, graduate. Interested in society and social issues. A growing interest in tech stuff and Cyber Security.